New Crock Pot

When we lived in Bremerton, we bought a crock pot. It was some cheap 7 quart one we found at Walmart. It was Crock Pot brand and has served us well. In the move to Port Orchard, I lost one of the rubbery nubbly feet, so I have to use a folded up piece of paper to hold up the crooked side. I love crock pots. I think they’re a wonderful thing. However, due to our schedules, The Fellow™ and I are both gone for about 11 hours a day and very rarely do I find a recipe for something that actually feeds us for dinner that requires 11 hours or more in a crock pot. Most are 4-8 hours and if they stay on much longer than that, the liquid disappears or the food mushifies.

The next logical step was to start researching crock pots with timers. I really liked the idea of this. Especially ones that switch to “warm” when the timer finishes. This would prove to be a lengthy research endeavor because most I found had a good mix of great and horrible reviews. I was hesitant to drop money on just any slow cooker. After polling some friends and using several different websites for reviews, I decided on the Hamilton Beach Simplicity 6 quart slow cooker.

I had a choice of ordering it from Hamilton Beach’s website and paying something like $30 in shipping (making it an $80+ purchase) OR getting in on Amazon with free shipping as a Prime member. I think it’s pretty obvious which route I took…

I’ll admit I was a little bummed to see it was made in China, however. Makes me wonder what USA made crock pots exist and what sort of quality they are.

Opening the box was like a test of my will power. Could I get it open without ripping everything to shreds? It was like Christmas had come early. The silliest things get me excited. Not to mention, it was pretty much dinner time and I really wanted to test out something random in it.

The first recipe I wanted to attempt was risotto. I love risotto. But since I’m not a professional chef, I don’t know the secrets on how to make it not a pain in the ass to make. E.G. how not to slave over the stove for an hour or more getting everything to absorb and cook as it needs to. I was curious if the crock pot could manage something like risotto and was too cocksure to look up online any hints or tips. I was going to try something creative on my own, dammit! And I did. And it came out pretty good. It was a standard go-to as far as risotto goes in this house. Arborio with a bag of steamed veggies in a cheese sauce. Cheater food, mostly, but in a pinch, it works and it’s delicious.